There’s a certain amount of pride I take in getting the typical wrinkles that come with age. They may appear as crow’s feet, laugh lines, and the “elevens” (those two parallel lines between our eyebrows that make us look like we are forever concentrating hard). They show that we’ve had plenty of laughter, tears, success and hardship experiencing the general work of life. I have no immediate plans to get a face lift, although I don’t judge anyone who does. But if I was told that a simple, non-invasive habit could produce younger looking skin, I would definitely want to know about it. If I found out that I was already doing what it took to maximize my skin’s appearance, that’s even better.
You guessed it, – exercise was revealed this week to greatly enhance your skin’s suppleness and chronological age. A study this week showed that the tone and chronological age of your skin can be improved through regular, moderate exercise. The current research compared the skin of a control group of non-exercisers (sedentary folks who exercised less than one hour a week) and a group of moderate exercisers. Major differences were seen under the microscope. The exercisers’ skin had less outer thickness and more inner density. The researchers also wanted to control for healthy lifestyle, good genetics and sun exposure, so they examined the skin of the same people before and after putting them on a moderate exercise regimen. Specifically, they worked out 2 times a week, 30 minutes at a time at 65% of their capacity (moderately strenuous) jogging or cycling. The results were remarkable in that the skin of the same people, after they began exercising, showed significant improvement. They found an increased level of myokines, chemicals which boost the activity of cells.
Check out this study to learn more:
One caveat is that sun exposure and damage already done cannot be reversed, but the typical effects of aging can actually be reversed. So be sure to apply sunscreen every day as part of your regimen. Also, make sure you moisturize to prevent further damage and keep your skin looking its best. There are some great combination moisturizers with sunscreen for those of us who like to keep our skin care regimen brief. Every dermatologist I’ve encountered has emphasized the importance of applying sunscreen (even when it doesn’t appear to be sunny) with an SPF of at least 30. Beyond that number, the differences are minimal if they even exist. Also, be sure to get sunscreen that is broad spectrum- that means it protects again both UVA and UVB rays. Re-apply often, don’t believe the labels that say sweat and water-proof, and monitor any suspicious-looking changes to moles or beauty marks. This article gives you the basics about safety in the sun.
We know that exercise improves cardiovascular ability, keeps muscles and functional skills strong, maintains joint flexibility, increases metabolism, fends off dementia, helps manage weight, and extends life. If those reasons aren’t enough, let’s let vanity guide us – who doesn’t want more youthful looking skin?